Twitter has quickly jumped on pushing their recent purchase of Summify into Twitter production in record time. (Summify was a start up social news aggregator that collected news from users' social networks and compiled it in daily emails.) According to Twitter's blog, they're delivering "The Best of Twitter" to my inbox.
If you glanced at my long, long graphic above, you can see that there are two parts to this new email, which are as follows, according to the Twitter blog:
- The first half is a "...summary [that] features the most relevant Tweets and stories shared by the people you’re connected to on Twitter."
- The second half of the ginormous email "... features the most engaging Tweets seen by the people you follow, even if you don’t follow those who wrote them. You can see who from your network retweeted or favorited these Tweets and click “View details” to retweet, favorite, reply or view the conversation around them."
(A colleague and I tried the Google search experiment where we both searched on the same word, then compared what we found — and we did not get the same search results — so the online filter bubble is in play right now.)
So in "summarizing" the stories and tweets sent to me in this weekly email, Twitter is perpetuating and embracing the "online filter bubble" that Eli Pariser talks about; deciding for me what is relevant to me, just by serving it up in a weekly email. I subscribe to several social media aggregation emails — one of my favorites is from SmartBrief; but aggregating is what they do and it's what I expect of them.
All of this makes me wonder where we draw the line in this age of information overload, and how we choose between:
- News customized to what you've looked at so far and the news and articles your social network is reading
- News that helps you stretch your mind and your opinions, and lets you step out of your clearly defined point of view to learn and decide on your own?